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Gregory P. Smith
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Gregory P. Smith

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I'm pretty sure Universal's strategy here is to delay a ruling as long as possible. Because it isn't likely to favor them and they're reaping ill gotten fair use censorship rewards in the interim.
Back in February 2007, a mother of a young boy posted a short, grainy video of her baby "dancing" around the kitchen while a Prince song plays, barely audibly, in the background. In the eight years...
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Gregory P. Smith

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Caturday is a holiday here tomorrow, so I'd better post this news from Japan today.
AS SOON as she was born, Tama-chan (“Little Treasure”) knew she was divine. Most cats presume it; she was sure of it. Her immediate situation—whelped by a...
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In celebration, I'm buying a fresh pair of rainbow cycling gloves! This is an old photo, half the colors on my current pairs have sun faded. #LoveWins

store.electrabike.com appears to have them in stock. Ordered. :)
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The new gloves have arrived but I don't want to wear them until I put on new clean bar tape. :)  [sadly I haven't found a source for rainbow bar tape]
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Gregory P. Smith

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I pedalled to the Gates Of Hell yesterday morning but they were closed so I Rodin to work instead.
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Harharhar
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In the 1980s, Van Halen famously banned all brown M&Ms from their dressing room. David Lee Roth, reunited with the band for a new album and tour, explains why.
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Wow, that's great.  Like Adam, I've heard the story a few times before, but that was still well worth the five minutes to watch.
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The humanoid robot apocalypse is going to be a while yet...
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+Gregory P. Smith 5 years atleast.
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Gregory P. Smith

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Stop blaming Greece. They and any other weak country are better off out on their own so long as the Euro zone continues to be a club of xenophobic nations unwilling to see each other as equals and help out.

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Irresponsible or unavoidable borrowing?

Growing up in Europe, I didn't pay much attention to the construction of the Euro, and whatever little I remember has nothing to do with the economics of it. Now, older, having lived in the US for a while, with a Greek wife, I'm looking at the way the Euro is unraveling and I've been using the opportunity to try to figure out how it works (or, rather, why it doesn't).

The core mechanism that allows multiple states to share the same currency is pretty simple: since the weaker states can't devalue their currency to compensate for their trade deficit with the stronger ones, money has to flow from the stronger economies to the weaker ones in order to maintain the balance.

We see that in the US: as measured in GDP per capita, there's about a 2:1 ratio between the strongest states and the weakest ones. To compensate for that, a lot of money flows between states, through the federal government. Most taxes in the US are federal taxes, i.e. about 75%, and the federal government doesn't necessarily spend the money it collects in the exact states where it collects them. As an example, about 130 billion dollars paid by California in federal taxes don't make it back into California. Texas and New York are the two other states that have a negative balance of more than 100 billion each. For those 3 states, that outflow on money represents 5.7%, 7.2% and 7.4% of their respective GDPs. California is literally sending money to other states so that those states can buy California stuff. The same is true for Texas, New York, and about 20 of the 50 states that are sending money to the other 30.

Looking back in history, the Marshall Plan followed a somewhat similar logic: the US sent aid to Europe, to allow Europeans to buy US goods, which was both a stabilizing mechanism for European currencies that otherwise were in a devaluation spiral, and an outlet for the huge US industrial production. For reference, the Marshall Plan amounted to 120 billion dollars (in today's dollars) over 4 years, which is tiny compared to the amount of money that the federal government now redistributes across state lines.

We can compare that to the situation in the Eurozone/EU, where the GDP per capita varies by a factor of about 2.3:1. Germany's balance in the EU budget is negative by less than 9 billion Euros. France's and Italy's follow at approximately 6.5 billion and 6 billion. Germany's 9 billion Euros is tiny compared to California's 130 billion dollars, especially since Germany's GDP is 60% larger than that of California. Since the US and EU economies have approximately the same size, that's a reasonably apples-to-apples comparison. The biggest negative balance that a Eurozone country has with the EU is about 0.41% of its GDP. The biggest positive balance is 1.3%. Within the US, only 4 states out of 50 fall within that range.

That's the problem right there: Germany is not flowing enough money out to other Eurozone countries to compensate for its own very strong economy. That's true of other rich European countries as well, e.g. Netherlands, Austria, France.

From the Greek point of view, the only way to get that money to flow in order to maintain balance had been for the government to borrow. That wasn't irresponsible borrowing. That was mechanical, predictable. Greece's poor historical discipline around government finances only accelerated an unavoidable process, but it's not a root cause.

In fact, predictably, pushing Greece into austerity made things worse, much worse: with the root cause being Greece's relatively weak economy compared to the rest of the Eurozone, an austerity approach can only put Greece in a position where it needs even more money to flow in in order to maintain balance.

Even if we assume that all of Greece's debts get somehow forgiven with no further constraints and that Greece manages to run a balanced government budget, it would still be in an unsustainable position in the current Eurozone as its weaker economy would force additional money to flow in. Unless the Eurozone very significantly increases the amount of money that it redistributes across borders, Greece should get out of the Euro at the first opportunity, i.e. literally Monday morning, July 6.

Worse, with Greece out, it's only a matter of time for another weak country to find itself in the same position: that might be Portugal, Spain, Italy, or if Bulgaria, Romania or even Hungary join quickly enough that might go through that same death spiral quickly enough to see the Eurozone as a revolving door, with barely enough time to come in before being back out.

Once that first batch of weak countries is out, there'll always be more that'll be at the bottom of the scale and will find themselves in the same position. France is comfortably in the middle of the pack within Europe today, but attrition will eventually push it toward the bottom, and France having to leave the Euro is a true nightmare scenario for everyone.

In order for the Eurozone to survive, its rich members will need to send a lot more money to the poorer ones: the rich ones literally can't continue reaping benefits from a currency based on the European average without sharing those benefits with the poorer ones that bring that European average down. Otherwise, the Euro will consume country after country until it hits a country that is literally too big to fail.
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There have been "logging trucks on road" signs on Tunitas Creek Road for a while but today is the first time I've ever actually seen one. This one full of tasty redwood passed us at the bike hut a couple minutes after an empty one went up.

You know a neighborhood wants to pretend to be rural when they feel the need for a two way traffic sign.

Any day off is a great day for a ride.
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+Gregory P. Smith oh cool. :) yay! another local plusser! :)
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Gregory P. Smith
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I've contacted ridewithgps to see about getting us one of these. I will report back.
Welcome to the Ride with GPS Club account, focused on organizing your ridership and facilitating quick and easy discovery of your Club's routes. Supporting multiple admins and all of your riders on a single, easy page makes distributing a navigatable route simple for you and your riders.
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Sounds great. I like that it offers all basic members premium options for club rides including GPS navigation. Hopefully the price is right for a nonprofit club like us.
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Stealing Keys from computers using a radio: Cheap Electromagnetic Attacks on Windowed Exponentiation.  Nice use of a software defined radio! - http://www.cs.tau.ac.il/~tromer/papers/radioexp.pdf

"uses readily-available components ... and can operate untethered while concealed, e.g., inside pita bread"

Also known as: Reasons why your computer needs a tinfoil hat (grounded and or pumped full of electromagnetic white noise).
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Coming soon (if manufacturers know what's good for them): better RF shielding, and hardware switches to open the microphone and camera circuits.
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Watch the watchers, and carnage ensues.
Do we understand the risk vs. benefit trade-offs of security software? Tavis Ormandy, June 2015 Introduction Many antivirus products include emulation capabilities that are intended to allow unpackers to run for a few cy...
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aw.
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A post from me analyzing Python 3 adoption on PyPI.
At (and since) PyCon 2015, there has been interest in trying to get quantified numbers in relation to Python 3 adoption (see PyPI download numbers and uptake in the astronomy community). One number I am personally interested in is per-project... | Brett Cannon | Python core developer. Tall, snarky Canadian.
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The real holdback is Google, supposedly the company of the future, still stubbornly refusing to support Py 3.
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Tasty! Even for non-vegans. Fast take out service. Laugh at the vegan propaganda flyers on your way out.
Public - 3 weeks ago
reviewed 3 weeks ago
I rented a touring bike for the day. Great full fendered bike appropriate for the season and good advice on where to ride (including on the Forumla 1 race track :).
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
great!
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
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Great pizza. Lunch deals from 11am-4pm.
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
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reviewed 5 months ago
Great after a bike ride.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago